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Night-blooming Cereus: 2021 Bloom Night #1

Last year, we were delighted by the flowers on our five peniocereus greggii, also called night-blooming cereus or queen of the night. You can read our 2020 post series on night-blooming cereus starting here.

This year, we have been watching our night-blooming cereus since the beginning of June. Last week, I took the kids on a vacation to the beach in California and was hoping that these magnificent flowers would wait for me to come back. And they did!

Last night, our usual first bloomer by the chicken coop blossomed with three flowers. We knew the signs of a bloom night from our experience last year.

We knew for sure these buds would bloom last night because they were showing white through the bud. I took this picture at about 1:30 PM yesterday.

After dinner, around 6 PM, they began opening.
At about 9 PM, they were fully open. These flowers do have a scent but it is very subtle. Maybe later in the evening, closer to midnight, their scent would have been stronger. The scent of night-blooming cereus is reminiscent of gardenia.

These flowers certainly do not disappoint. They are so beautiful and unexpected.

These flowers remind me of pirouetting ballet dancers. The fact that they only dance at night makes them even more special.

One last closeup before we head out to check on the other night-blooming cereus!

Our daughter braved the dark with us to see the flowers. She was ok with being by the chicken coop but venturing out into the dark of the outer yard meant she had to be a little more adventurous.

On our way to the other plants, we crossed paths with a very large, ornery beetle. When it saw us, it obviously was warning us away by fluttering its wings at us and making clicking sounds. I think it was a palo verde beetle. They are 3-5 inches long and harmless. The fact that they look like giant cockroaches does not work in their favor though. I know for sure our daughter did not like meeting this bug!

When we reached the other side of the house, we were surprised to see one open flower on this cactus with two buds that were definitely not going to bloom yet. She was still a nice surprise though!

I think this one was probably the prettiest flower we saw last night. She looks a little like a lonely princess, doesn’t she?

This is probably my favorite picture I took last night.

Time to say goodbye to these flowers for now! We will be back out again tonight to see what the queen of the night has in store for us!


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